I had a lot of response from last week’s article about weeding some of the crud off your résumé. A lot of readers took had to take a second look at their own tomes. Some got rid of the References Available Upon Request line, and the concept of “objective” caused a spirited debate amongst my colleagues on linkedin

Nobody wanted to touch the concept of whether they were a team player at work. That, I suspect, may be a tender issue – especially among employers and managers who may be eager to get rid of someone for “not being a team player.” Who can argue with that? It’s like arguing for or against the existence of God.

I have some more words and concepts that might be questioned if they appear on your resume.

Many people know that one of my avocations is teaching fitness classes. Occasionally – once or twice a year, I get a participant who has never taken a fitness class before. At the beginning of the class I ask whether there are any newcomers to fitness so I can warn them to make sure their doctor is aware of the fitness choices. Usually nobody owns up to it.

After class, I learn that it may have been their first class. I tell them that they did well for their first time, and that everyone in the class has done their first class, and I welcome them to the club.

Similarly, everyone has their first job. There is only one time of your life when you should consider telling an employer you are hard working. That time is on your first résumé before you finished high school, and before you had an opportunity to do any volunteer work. It is OK to tell that employer that you’re hard working – but not subsequent employers. You have to show them. You have to prove you’re hard working by mentioning some results.
• Loaded a box car single handed as the rest of the team contracted the Ebola virus
• Assigned the responsibility of closing the shop at the end of the day
• Made over a half million dollars in a single weekend demonstrating Velveeta cheese at Costco


Late in the last decade of the last century, there was something called “The Dot Com Bubble.” Many believe this is some sort of oriental cuisine, but it wasn’t. It was a serious economic disaster. The bubble burst when investors and speculators noticed technology stocks were found to have grossly overinflated values. They recognized the true value of all the technologies – essentially nothing.
Thousands were laid off as companies downsized. Those left behind went to work shrouded in guilt. At work, they had to assume the tasks abandoned by their former coworkers. They had to put in 80 hour weeks to keep their companies afloat.
As a result, the nineties generated a class of multitaskers who, while willing to do the often specialized work of others, did it poorly.

Such is one definition of multitasking, and it has its effect on the labour market. If an employer tells a worker that they can’t multitask, they probably won’t even try to learn. I say, “Good for them! Let someone else get some work done for a change!”

Another definition is an ability of a person (or a person’s brain) to handle a number of different tasks at a time. For example you could write a report, answer and talk on the phone, book a school gym for broomball, and make reservations at the local beanery for a heavy date on Saturday. The trouble is, you can’t. You end up with a report with rental rates for broomball in the middle, having a romantic dinner in a school gym, and a broomball team at the beanery shooting balls at Gordon Ramsey, who is probably the only one who actually can multitask. If he makes a mistake, he can blame it on someone else, but he always gets a hug at the end.

Here’s the rule. If a job description says it needs someone
to multitask, and you know that multitasking doesn’t work, say the following:
• Possess an uncanny ability to multitask while maintaining a sense of focus on the big picture

That will surprise the employer!


When there are alternate spellings for a word, there is a good chance that it is a buzzword and not really a word at all. It is in my dictionary, where it is described as interference between past learning by current learning.

Given that definition, why put it on a résumé?

SELF-STARTER is another one. It would be easier and more effective to say you were a,

• Human Starter Motor – meaning you’re too cheap to pay for automobile repairs and always spark on a hilltop so you don’t spend too much energy pushing it to start.
I suppose you have already seen through my goal here. I want to get rid of all the words on a résumé so everyone, except my clients, will be restricting their resumes to their names, addresses and contact inf0. That way all the good jobs will go to all my résumé clients.

That, after all, is the way things were done in the mid 60s

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at or at If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia.


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